Black Beans 3 Ways

Beans are very friendly on the wallet as a source of protein and fortunately I absolutely love them.  Black beans have a meaty yet creamy texture that can easily replace meat in a number of your recipes.  They have a whopping 15 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein in a single cup.  They have a tiny glycemic load of 14 while high in Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s.  They also contain measurable B vitamins, iron and calcium.  But, best of all they taste so good!  You can obtain some important nutrition facts about beans at

For the following recipes, I cooked 1 Cup of dry black beans according to package directions with the addition of tomatoes, onions, garlic, cumin and chili powder to taste.  I cooked them in my 2 quart crock pot on low for the day.  I like things hot and spicy but use your favorite chili seasonings to flavor the beans.

The beans and their broth can be frozen in individual portions or refrigerated for up to a week if you don’t want to eat them for 3 days straight like me.

You can replace them with canned black bean chili or even seasoned pinto beans.

  • Day One:  Bowl of Chili
  • Day Two:  Black Bean Pasta
  • Day Three:  Black Bean Tamale Pie

Black Bean Chili (you can add meat of your choice but I find that black beans just don’t need it.)

  • 1 cup dry black beans, washed and soaked
  • water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1/2 chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp Cumin, 1 Tbsp chipotle chili powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 2 tsp oregano and cayenne to taste. (I tend to get a bit heavy handed with these but since I add jalapenos to the individual recipes, I don’t add any other heat at this point)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Serve yourself a nice big bowl with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of cheddar and a chopped green onion.  Help yourself to some good crackers or try the cornbread recipe that follows for Day 3.

Day Two:

Black Bean Pasta

  • 2 oz high fiber macaroni (I like Barilla plus)
  • ½ cup of drained black beans
  • ½ cup of bean broth (it’s easier to blend the sour cream in liquid versus the beans and liquid together)
  • 1/4 Cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 2 Tbsp diced onion
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • 1 oz low fat cheddar, shredded
  • 1 oz pepper jack, shredded
  • cilantro for top

Saute onions, garlic and jalapeno just until softened and translucent.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Blend bean broth and yogurt or sour cream.

Stir the bean broth, beans and 1/2 the cheese into the warm vegetables. Using a slotted spoon, add the pasta.

Pour everything into the casserole and top with the remaining cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese if completely melted.

Top with some cilantro leaves and enjoy!

Day Three:

Black Bean Tamale Pie

  • ½ Cup drained black beans
  • 1 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded, divided
  • 2 Tbsp chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ Cup or more frozen corn
  • ¼ Cup good salsa of choice

Mix all the ingredients together, reserving ½ of the cheese, and place in the bottom of the baking dish.

Make the topping. (see following recipe) Spread 1/3 on top of pie filling and top with the remaining cheese.  Put the rest of the cornbread mixture in a muffin tin or paper for use later.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the muffin comes out clean.

Top with chopped tomato and green onion.  Optional toppings might be more salsa or sour cream.

Topping:  (You can use slices of polenta or masa harina but I have a farmer’s daughter’s love of cornbread):

Note: These photos are from just making plain cornbread.  For a photo of the bread with the jalapenos and cheese, see the Tamale Pie.

(Makes 2 lovely servings)

  • ½ Cup cornmeal
  • ½ Cup buttermilk, plus 1 Tbsp
  • ½ Tbsp honey or molasses
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour (use whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose if you want lighter cornbread)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • minced jalapeno and/or cheddar to taste (or olives or chipotle or nothing in particular if you just want some cornbread.)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease 1 large muffin cup or use a large muffin paper.  Mix the cornmeal and ½ Cup of buttermilk together and leave to soak for about 20 minutes.  As these little breads don’t cook as long as a whole cornbread, the cornmeal needs a little time to soften.  Add the remaining ingredients plus 1 Tbsp buttermilk and mix together until just wet.  Batter will be thick.

Place half the batter in the muffin cup.  Spread the other half over the bean mixture. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and bake.  Place the casserole and the muffin container if using, on a baking sheet.  Depending on your oven, bake about 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Whimsy:  Downsizing something like cornbread, which calls for an egg, becomes difficult (1/4 of an egg?) so this recipe was developed with the help of some depression era recipes from The Grassroots Survival Company’s  ‘A Cookbook from the Great Depression’.  The original recipe also calls for the addition of leftover gravy J.

I invested in these single little cake pans (see picture).  These are 2” deep and 3” wide.  I also have some that are 1” deep and 4” wide for little cakes.  Find them on Amazon .


About unveiledpdx

Retired Grandma with a passion for food.
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